Making Breakfast with Your Inner Critic

My favorite ritual is making my smoothie in the morning.  I've been drinking a smoothie every morning since late 2007, and because I go long stretches before I change the ingredients, I'm usually going through the same motions every day-- four steps to the fridge- get out five ingredients- add them to the cup, put the ingredients back; three steps to side cupboard to get the greens, peanut butter and honey, put them in, put them back; three steps to back cupboard to get out supplements and protein powder, put them all back.  I will never get tired of this.

It's a great time for meditating because when you're doing something simple, with all the steps memorized, you have more presence to pay attention to the inner critic and watch your internal reactions to their nit picking in the background of your mind.  So the two big complaints my inner critic has is that 1) I'm not making my smoothie fast enough and I could be moving more efficiently-- like grabbing the supplement bags between two fingers so I don't have to make two trips to the back cupboard-- and 2) I put too many ingredients on the spoon, and I won't have enough room in the cup for the rest of the ingredients. Other favorites are that the counter is messy, and I'm using too many spoons and should just re-use an old one so there's a balance of forks, knives and spoons in the dishwasher next time I do a load, and I'm not just doing a load because I'm out of spoons. 

What's beautiful is I can just notice the nit-picking and see where it lands.  If I'm not able to catch it, it lands somehwere in my muscle tissue, resulting in tenseness in my neck or back, and by the time I'm done, and I don't know why I'm so tense.  When I can notice it, I just watch it dissolve like a snowflake on the pavement.  It's the most wonderful thing- I don't know if I'd call it relaxing- it's freeing.  I walk away from every smoothie-making ritual a slightly freer woman.